Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005
Lindsay Painter, senior public relations major at Westminster College, spearheaded the Fallen Soldier Memorial located in Pittsburgh's Federal Building.
"The Fallen Soldier Memorial honors 46 soldiers from Western Pennsylvania killed in Iraq and Afghanistan," Painter said. "I had to use the 'Report of Casualty' military orders to contact the families and get the biographical information for the scrapbook that's on display with the guest book in the lobby. Talking to the families was the most difficult part of the job."
Painter served a summer internship for the regional Veterans Administration in Pittsburgh.
"I thought I'd be a shadow, but I was asked to jump right in and get started," Painter said. "I had no budget, so I asked for donations. One of the hardest things to find was the M-16 rifle. The Etna American Legion bought a replica for the memorial and donated it. The Pittsburgh Trophy Company donated two large plaques inscribed with the name and branch of service of each person."
The dedication was held Aug. 18 in the Concourse Room of the Pennsylvanian, an old rail road station in downtown Pittsburgh. Painter had a special reason for wanting to be involved in this project.
"I lost a friend, Josh Henry, in September of 2004," Painter said. "He was one of the soldiers honored, and he was the reason it meant so much for me to do this. Josh and I went to high school together in Apollo. He was only 21 when he died. His family came to the dedication ceremony."
Ninety invitations were sent to family members to attend the dedication ceremony and more than 200 relatives and friends attended the service.
The simple memorial features an M-16 rifle with a helmet balanced on top of it and a pair of combat boots sitting beneath it in front of a flag with the words "Lest they be forgotten."
"I really need to thank everyone who donated to this cause, including the owner of the Pennsylvanian, the Jenny Lee Bakery and Opening Night Catering Service," Painter continued. "But I couldn't have done this project without the foundation received at Westminster. The Public Relations Department prepared me with people skills and public relations writing."
Painter is a daughter of Richard and Marcie Painter, Apollo, and a graduate of Apollo-Ridge High School.
Contact Painter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.